3MT at Emory

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ) Australia in which graduate students deliver a compelling presentation to a non-specialist audience in three minutes or less. Since its founding in 2008, 3MT® is now offered at over 600 universities in 60 countries, with winners going on to compete in regional and national events as well.

The Laney Graduate School 3MT® Competition will serve as a skills development program that challenges students to explain their research project to an educated but non-specialist audience.

What is 3MT?

The exercise challenges research higher degree (PhD) students to present a compelling oration on their thesis topic and its significance in just three minutes. 3MT® develops academic, presentation, and research communication skills and supports the development of research students' capacity to effectively explain their research in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience. 3MT® is not an exercise in trivializing or ‘dumbing-down’ research but forces students to consolidate their ideas and crystalize their research discoveries.

Why participate in the 3MT?

Benefits include the opportunity to:

  • share your work and its impact with a wider audience

  • enhance your ability to communicate research to a non-specialist audience - in the 3MT competition, in an elevator talk, or at a family picnic

  • refine your public speaking and presentation skills

  • expand your professional network

  • gain media exposure - finalist videos are posted to Laney's YouTube Channel and winners are highlighted in Laney publications

  • be a part of a growing university trend - 3MTs are now held at over 600 universities in 60 countries and Emory's winner can participate in additional 3MT showcases and events

3MT at Emory

The competition is judged by a panel comprised of a diverse group of professionals (academic and non-academic) with a wide range of professional expertise. 

How It Works

Presentation Rules

  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations or 'movement' of any description, the slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration).
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted.
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (eg. no poems, raps or songs).
  • Presentations are to commence from the stage.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through movement or speech.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.


Flu Viruses: Better Together by Gabrielle Delima

1st Place Winning Presentation - Flu Viruses: Better Together by Gabrielle Delima